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Four years ago, I wrote a column about the 2012 Summer Olympics in London – specifically, about the women competing from patriarchal, conservative cultures like Saudi Arabia. That year, Saudi Arabia was required by the IOC to send two women to the games, so they did. Begrudgingly. The two female competitors had to walk behind the men at the opening ceremony, and media in their home countries called them names like “Olympic prostitute.” Read more

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A man and a woman are on a first date. Conversation starts off strong with the first glass of wine, then starts to lag between dinner and dessert. The woman starts to cycle through all of the dating advice she’s consumed over the years: Be yourself. Don’t talk about ex-boyfriends or your depressed cat. Find something you have in common. Read more

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One takeaway from this year’s DNC: Democrats sure know how to give a speech. The Obamas, in particular, know how to give a speech. History will remember them both fondly, for the speeches and for many other things. Given his calm confidence on stage, Obama seemed to know this, and that knowledge will carry him through the rest of his life, however he chooses to spend it. Read more

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“Honesty” is, and always has been, one of humanity’s most celebrated qualities. The assumption of honesty in our fellow humans greases the wheels of society and allows us to get stuff done. If we believed everyone was lying 100 percent of the time, we’d never get married, make business deals, employ each other, order food at a restaurant, have friends, etc. Read more

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Many people smarter than me have said it: Donald Trump has a pretty good chance of being the Republican nominee for president. It’s terrifying; it’s maddening; it’s a train wreck you can’t look away from. Read more

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a column that made the case for Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president. Now, in a continuing effort to figure out how to vote in the Pennsylvania primaries, I want to make the case for Bernie Sanders. Read more

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There’s a lot to like about Bernie Sanders, if you’re a left-leaning person. He has the right things to say about the issues liberals care about: income inequality, joblessness, healthcare, education, defense spending…and, importantly, he says them in a way that doesn’t feel inauthentic. He seems to believe every word he says in a deep and meaningful way. Read more

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I admit, I held my breath before diving into the comments about Obama’s new executive orders on the Herald-Standard Facebook page. Because these orders were about guns and gun safety, I was ready to find some very, very angry gun owners. Read more

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This morning I caught the end of a heartbreaking conversation on the radio.

In it, two Muslim women—both American-born citizens—discussed the ways they have changed their behavior to comfort their suddenly very fearful neighbors. Read more

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You don’t need me to tell you: There is a lot going on in America right now. Two mass public shootings since Thanksgiving. More ridiculous political theater from Donald Trump, in which he mocked the movements of a journalist with physical disabilities…unapologetically and in public. Read more

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It is not too difficult to understand concerns about accepting Syrian refugees into America. It really isn’t. Some are quick to call those who would refuse refugees racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or just plain dumb, but that’s unproductive. Read more

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Here we go again.

Another month, and another mass shooting. With this latest tragedy, at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Thursday, 10 people have died, and there is a clear numbness in our reaction. We are not particularly shocked. Read more

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This week, a sad thing happened: Ahmed Mohamed, aged 14, engineered a clock in his spare time, brought it to school to show it off to his teachers, and by the end of the day, had been interrogated by police, taken to juvenile detention, and made into an Internet celebrity. Read more